They can normally
be seen as only a dot in the sky. But these dramatic photos give a
completely new picture of the brave work of the Royal Air Force servicemen
and women. These astonishing pictures, entered into the annual Royal Air
Force Photographic competition, give a glimpse behind the scenes of the
dangerous work carried out which makes up the normal day in the Force.
This photo, called Colourful
Symmetry, by SAC Graham Taylor of RAF Coningsby, shows Typhoon aircraft
practising for the Royal Jubilee celebrations by performing a diamond-nine
formation over Lincolnshire the day before they were due to fly over
of the winning portfolio from RAF Marham, this picture, From Thrust Till
Dawn by Corporal Babbs Robinson, shows Tornado GR4 aircraft launching from
RAF Marham loaded with Storm Shadow cruise missiles
Home by SAC Chris Hill shows this delighted serviceman greeting his two
children after returning to RAF Marham from operation Ellamy
picture, taken by 2012 RAF Photographer of the year Corporal Mike Jones
from RAF Marham, shows SAC Mulligan and troops from 58 Squadron RAF
Regiment conducting a routine patrol near Camp Bastion in Afghanistan
The impressive images of operations, training, equipment and
sport are were all taken by RAF personnel and civilians, and capture the
amazing work undertaken by the air force around the world.
This year the overall winner of the RAF photographer of the
year category was Corporal Mike Jones from RAF Marham.
His portfolio of four images shows the diversity of task from
operations to ceremonial and modern equipment to heritage.
He also took a particularly captivating image of an Afghan
Corporal Jones, remembers the moment he took the photo: 'The
picture was taken on New Year’s Day at Kandahar during an Open Day for
local Afghans living close to the airfield to visit us at work.
'At the open day the RAF had provided a Tornado GR4 and the
crew were busy talking to a lot of excited kids and local people.
'I saw the man sitting alone to one side by the hangar door,
just watching things going on. The conditions were perfect.
striking image was highly commended in Category C 'RAF Operational
Experience'. Called 'Downward Leg' by SAC Tommy Axford, it shows a Merlin
helicopter on exercise Pashtung Vortex carrying out pre-deployment training
in Category C 'RAF Operational Experience', Rear View by Cpl Paul Oldfield,
shows US Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter flying over Kajakai Dam,
Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with Major John A. Toolan, commander,
Regional Command (Southwest)
of Category F 'Portrait' is a photo called 'Prince' by Sgt Richard Beattie.
It is a portrait of Flight Lieutenant Princejit Ubhi, an Ops Officer, who
can wear his headdress as part of his uniform in honour of his religion
place in Category C 'The RAF Operational Experience' was 'Get Down' by SAC
Chris Hill, which showed personnel diving for cover on rocky ground in
'As the hangar door opened there was a flood of natural light
falling on him. It is a very natural shot. It is a striking picture that I
am proud of.'
The RAF has held a photographic competition for the last 23
years and this time there were more than 800 entries in 12 categories.
The award ceremony was held today at the historic Royal Air
Force Club in London.
Other photos include a Hurricane plane flying over London and
the 58 Squadron on patrol.
'The competition entries this year are once again of the highest
quality and showcase not only the professional abilities of our Royal Air
Force Photographers but also the tremendous diversity and agility of our
people and equipment,'said Chief to the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Sir
Prize Category D 'RAF Equipment' was 'Chinook Sunset' by Ian Forshaw, who
captured this Chinook refuelling at RAF Shawbury. He captured the brilliant
colours beaming off the window of the aircraft
of Category B 'Technical/Engineering' was 'Function and Form' by SAC Graham
Taylor. The picture shows a Spitfire from RAF Coningsby's Battle of Britain
Memorial Flight (BBMF) during a ground-run following engine and fuelling
of the section entry for RAF Leuchars in Category A 'Photographic Section
Portfolio'. This was a digitally manipulated image of a Typhoon using light
dramatic shot earned the photographer by SAC Graham Taylor the title of
winner of Category D 'RAF Equipment'. It shows a Typhoon from 29(R) Sqn,
RAF Coningsby, performing a full display as part of their Public Display
'These dynamic images reflect the extensive breadth of
Service life, the critical contribution that our personnel are making to
global operations and the unique year of celebrations for Her Majesty The
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as well as the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic
Three independent judges, Len Dance, Alex Mead and Geoff
Mayor, with in excess of 100 years pictorial experience between them,
wrestled to agree on the winning images in the 12 categories for this
year’s photographic competition.
One of the three independent judges Len Dance said: 'I have
worked with imagery my entire career, and I was honoured to be invited to
judge this year’s competition.
'The quality and technical skills demonstrated through these
entries is absolutely fantastic.'
L 'Photographer of the Year' titled 'Afghan Air Wing Open Day', this sombre
portrait was captured by Corporal Mike Jones RAF, who photographed an
Afghan Elder as he watched over his family as they took part in an
Afghanistan Air Force open day at Kandahar Air Base
picture by Cpl Mike Jones shows a Merlin Helicopter being delivered to Camp
Bastion. The rotary wing aircraft, from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, is
destined to become the latest addition to the Merlin fleet based in
of the 'RAF PR Image of the Year' Category K. 'Regiment Patrol' by SAC Andy
Masson of RAF Marham. The picture shows Corporal Steve Cavanagh from 2620
Auxillary Squadron, wearing the new Multi Terrain Pattern uniform, whilst
in front of a RAF Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham